Barack Obama Polarized Race in America

In the current issue of the Boston Review, Charles H. Stewart III and Stephen Ansolabehere, two MIT professors, argue that the election of Barack Obama was hardly evidence of a post-racial age. Instead, as exit poll data indicates, Obama was elected "precisely because of his race" — by African-American voters who turned out in record numbers.

This data leads Stewart and Ansolabehere to conclude that, "racial polarization in American voting patterns was the highest it has been since the 1984 election." As noted in an MIT news release, the percentage of blacks voting Democratic rose from 88 percent in 2004 to 95 percent in 2008 and Hispanics voting Democratic rose from 56 percent to 67 percent, meaning that it was nonwhites who were the decisive factor in the election. Strangely, the youth vote was only 18 percent of the total -- nowhere near the highs of 1972 and 1992, and thus had virtually no impact on Obama's victory. Of greater significance were voting patterns of those 25-30 years old, according to the release. And of benefit to the Democratic party, these "older young" are likely to remain loyally Democratic for years to come. How do you feel about whether Obama represents a new-way of dealing with race in America. Check out Newark mayor Cory Booker's ideas on the topic here. And you can watch MIT professor Charles Stewart on race and the 2008 election here.


LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less